Onshore partner visa applicants have always enjoyed the rights similar to those who have already been granted the visa, ie. Medicare, the right to remain in Australia; to work; to ability travel and return to Australia etc. This is all dependent on the applicant being able to lodge a valid application whilst in Australia.
The Family Violence Bill was passed in Senate late 2018. The Migration Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Bill 2016 was introduced to the parliament in March 2016. The law primarily purports to protect vulnerable visa holders from family violence, such as women and children. The Bill means that changes will be made to the Sponsorship process and Partner Visa’s.
What are the main changes to Partner Visa sponsorship?
- As a consequence of the new law, the sponsorship application for a Partner Visa would need to be approved before an applicant could proceed to apply for the partner visa application.
- The partner visa changes will bring about the mandatory refusal of a sponsorship application if it is found that your sponsor has a substantial criminal record.
- The new partner visa changes will mean that some sponsors may be barred from sponsoring their partner.
What are the important changes to partner visa processing times?
- The processing time to have the sponsorship application approved has not yet been revealed, it may take months to have the sponsorship approved. This may mean further delays in the Partner visa processing time.
Who is affected and how?
Both the applicant and Sponsor of the partner visa will be affected.
- An applicant will not be able to lodge a valid Partner Visa application until your Sponsor’s application is approved. This may be an issue if your visa is near its expiry.
- The partner visa changes mean that if you are unable to lodge a valid Partner visa before your visa expiry you will not be able to get a bridging visa to work and live in Australia while you wait for a decision for the sponsorship approval. Without a bridging visa you will be required to wait for the sponsorship approval outside of Australia. You could consider applying for a visitor’s visa however you will not have work rights during this period. It is best to discuss this option in detail with one of our Infinite Migration Australia consultants.
What will be required for Partner Visa applications?
- The main requirement for a Partner Visa is to provide documentary evidence that you are in a genuine relationship with your spouse or de facto partner.
- Infinite Migration Australia Lawyers will provide you with a tailored Partner Visa document checklist based on your circumstances. Please book a complimentary consultation with our team to discuss the requirements for a valid partner visa application.
When will the changes take place?
- It is anticipated that the Act will come into effect latest by 11th June 2019.
- This is because the Act will come into effect on a day ‘fixed by proclamation’ or if this date is not proclaimed within 6 months of the date of Royal Assent (10 December 2018), the day after that date. No commencement proclamation has been made yet.
What is the current process to apply for a Partner Visa?
- The current process does not require the sponsorship to be approved before you can lodge a partner visa. You are able to apply for an onshore partner visa and lodge the sponsorship at the same time. If you lodge a Partner visa whilst onshore (in Australia) you will get a Bridging visa associated to it once a valid.
To learn more about the current Partner visa and partner visa processing times, please follow the link.
What should you do?
- Those who are eligible for an onshore partner visa, should look to lodge the application as soon as possible so that the changes to the law would not affect their ability to obtain a bridging visa in time.
- If you are planning to lodge a partner visa onshore, then you really should proceed as soon as possible to avoid being affected by changes to eligibility requirements at the time of visa lodgement.
Get in touch with us to plan your partner visa out. Ensure you can validly remain in Australia whilst the visa is being processed and that you have the best chance of receiving a positive outcome!
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